A “hostile” crowd attacked London police with pieces of wood — and one apparently armed with a sword — after officers were called out to reports of violence at a “large” illegal gathering. The thugs then reportedly drove the unarmed officers off of Brixton’s lawless streets.
Scotland Yard confirmed on Thursday that they had responded to several calls from the public of the illegal event in Overton Road, including reports of “anti-social behaviour” and violence” in the Brixton streets. The unrest is believed to have begun on Wednesday afternoon and ran into the small hours of the following morning.
Large gatherings are still illegal under current coronavirus lockdown laws, and there have been reports of fatal shootings, stabbings, rapes, and suspected drug overdoses at alleged ‘quarantine raves’ in Manchester.
The Met said that officers attempted “to encourage the crowd” to disperse last evening, but “they did not engage with police”. Reinforcements arrived, and the group then became “hostile” towards police, leading to 22 officers being injured and police cars being damaged. Thankfully, none of the officers was seriously injured, but two required hospital attention.
Video of the ensuing riots and violence against police circulated on social media, some getting picked up by the mainstream media. One Tweet-embedded video whose photographer claims to show rioters running police out of the area was even retweeted by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel. The crowd is seen throwing objects and hitting retreating police vehicles with pieces of wood.
This is one reason why I say I can never go to a block party because 😱😱 Claire_419er your reporter skills are 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 true definition of it will all end in tears 🙈 pic.twitter.com/HTmVEK0Hkb
— La Fille De Dieu✨🇳🇱 (@emilyadusei) June 25, 2020
Others were reshared by users celebrating “BLM” and describing “feds getting run out of the area”. Violence against British police officers was sparked by Antifa and the far-left Black Lives Matter movement earlier this month, with 62 Met officers being injured in one week alone. Four were charged in mid-June after allegedly attacking police in a separate incident while allegedly shouting “black lives matter”.
While the official figure of injured stands at 22, Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage claimed that 40 officers were injured last night.
“The media, police bosses, and top politicians have given encouragement to an anti-police organisation with these appalling results,” Mr Farage said.
Now hearing 40 officers injured. The media, police bosses and top politicians have given encouragement to an anti-police organisation with these appalling results.
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) June 25, 2020
Home Secretary Priti Patel, who oversees policing, said of the footage: “These are utterly vile scenes. Just last weekend, the whole country came together to praise our heroic police officers for putting their own lives on the line to keep us safe. I’ll be picking up with the Met Commissioner immediately.”
Ken Marsh, Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said of the riots: “This violence is despicable. Yet again our brave colleagues in London have come under attack.”
These are utterly vile scenes.
Just last weekend, the whole country came together to praise our heroic police officers for putting their own lives on the line to keep us safe.
I'll be picking up with the Met Commissioner immediately. https://t.co/576qcLY89g
— Priti Patel (@pritipatel) June 25, 2020
Video also reported by Sky News showed a line of unarmed police retreating as rioters moved in on them with makeshift weapons on Cecilia Road, near the Angell Town housing estate. Thugs also threw bottles at officers.
“Don’t come round here bro … this is what we do,” another video reportedly shows one man saying to police as he chases them out of the area.
An investigation is currently being undertaken into the incident. Four arrests were made for assault and public order offences, and they remain in police custody. Police have enacted stop and search measures to prevent further violence, and are conducting visits to reassure locals disturbed by the violence.
Police car smashed up in Brixton last night, 15 police officers injured. Was this leading TV News this morning? pic.twitter.com/q3M1cwMMAX
— Michael Heaver (@Michael_Heaver) June 25, 2020
Despite the violence, vandalism, and anti-social behaviour clearly seen in the footage, the media have characterised it in reporting as some kind of a “party”. Sky News reporter Mark White referred to the violent disorder as a “block party”, while his network later referred to it as a “street party”.
The London Evening Standard also referred to the riot as a “street party”, despite reporting that one ‘party-goer’ confronted police “with what appears to be a sword”.
Local online news outlet MyLondon also called it a “block party”, as did the notionally ‘right-wing’ Daily Mail, while the left-wing Mirror, the Murdoch-owned Sun, and the liberal-progressive Independent characterised it as a “street party”.
The efforts to continue to frame the event as a “party”, despite police responding to reports of “anti-social behaviour” and “violence” is reminiscent of the BBC characterising violent and destructive far-left Black Lives Matter protests, where 27 officers were injured earlier this month, as “largely peaceful anti-racism protests”.
The BBC was on form again today, referring to the violent riots and crumbling of law and order in London as “illegal Brixton street party clashes”.
Crazed man wields sword towards riot cops in Brixton last night
The area descends into total anarchy following an illegal street party
Why did this not dominate the news this morning?
— Martin Daubney (@MartinDaubney) June 25, 2020